Monday, 27 August 2018

Fortnite’s cube keeps moving, and I keep following it

Last night, not long after I put my kids to bed, I made some coffee and turned on my PS4 to play Fortnite. It wouldn’t have made the best spectator experience: I sat perched on an in-game cliff for several minutes, barely moving. I wasn’t playing stealthily, trying to avoid detection from other players. I wasn’t even armed. Instead, I was staring intently at a giant purple cube, hoping it would move. Five minutes into the match — in which I somehow remained unharmed — my patience was rewarded. The rear end of the cube rose into the air slightly, hovered for a few moments, and then the big box rolled forward before settling once again into a motionless stance.
This is what Fortnite has done to me. I’m spending my time obsessing over a...
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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Apple stops selling the 2015 MacBook Pro

If you’re in the market for a MacBook Pro that doesn’t exclusively use USB-C ports, you’re out of luck. Today, as noted by 9to5Mac, Apple ceased sales of the 2015 MacBook Pro, its last prosumer laptop to include useful ports, including USB-A, HDMI, and a full-size SD card slot.
The 2015 MacBook Pro was also Apple’s last to feature a traditional keyboard. After its release, the company switched over to a newer butterfly keyboard mechanism that has led to some reliability troubles. Just last month, Apple acknowledged that keys on the keyboards were prone to sticking, repeating characters, and becoming unresponsive, so the company launched a four-year extended service program.
The discontinuation of the 2015 model leaves consumers with a...
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Pokémon Go finally has some competition... two years later

The summer of 2016 was filled with sunshine and pokéballs. Two years ago, Niantic unleashed Pokémon Go on the world, and parks and city streets were filled with people who were trying to catch a Squirtle or Pikachu. And while the fervor has died down quite a bit, the game is still going strong. A steady stream of updates have introduced new monsters, features like co-operative boss battles and real-time weather effects, and more recently, Niantic added the long-anticipated option to trade pokémon.
According to analyst firm Superdata Research, these changes are working. The company says that in May, Pokémon Go’s “player base increased to the highest level since the game’s peak in 2016.” Just this week, 170,000 people traveled to...
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Vivo Nex coming out on July 19 India release starting at Rs. 48,990

After launching the Vivo Nex in China, the company had sent invites for the launch of its flagship device in India on July 19. Now, ahead of the launch, the device has been spotted on Amazon, revealing that it will be priced starting at Rs. 48,990 and will be sold as an Amazon exclusive in India.
The report by MySmartPrice has revealed that the company will launch the premium Nex S variant in India and not the Snapdragon 710 powered Nex A. Additionally, the device will be named as Vivo Nex, instead of Nex S. The timing of this leak is interesting as it has occurred on the same day that Oppo launched its Find X smartphone priced at Rs. 59,990.
Apart from revealing the price of the device, the leak has also revealed that the device will be available to pre-order on Amazon India starting on July 19 at 1 PM.

Vivo Nex Specifications

The Vivo Nex runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with Funtouch OS 4.0 skinned on top and features a 6.59-inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2316 x 1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.3:9.
In terms of performance, the Vivo Nex is powered by an octa core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC coupled with Adreno 630 GPU. In terms of memory, the device is expected to be launched in two variants – 8GB RAM + 128GB internal storage and 8GB RAM + 256GB internal storage.
Coming to the camera department, the Vivo Nex features a dual camera setup at the back consisting of a 12MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 aperture, 4-axis OIS, dual LED flash and a 5MP secondary camera with f/2.4 aperture. On the front, the device sports a 8MP pop-up selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture.
The Vivo Nex is powered by a 4,000mAh battery with fast charge support. Connectivity options on the device include dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, GPS, 3.5mm audio jack and a USB Type-C port. Apart from the pop-up selfie camera, another USP of the device is its in-display fingerprint sensor.

MacBook Pro 2018 Models Feature a Touch Bar and 'Hey Siri' Support

Apple has confirmed that its new 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models feature support for hands-free "Hey Siri."

From its website, emphasis ours:
Featured on the 13- and 15‑inch models with Touch Bar, the Apple T2 chip includes a Secure Enclave coprocessor that provides the foundation for secure boot and encrypted storage capabilities. It also consolidates many discrete controllers, including the system management controller, audio controller, and SSD controller, into one. And the Apple T2 chip brings a familiar voice to MacBook Pro — Hey Siri is always ready to open apps, find documents, play music, or answer your questions.
This means 2018 MacBook Pro users can say "Hey Siri," instead of clicking on the Siri icon in the macOS menu bar or tapping on the Siri button on the Touch Bar, to activate Apple's virtual assistant on the desktop.

The functionality is enabled by the Apple T2 chip, first introduced in the iMac Pro and now included in the new MacBook Pros.

The T2 chip integrates several previously separate components, including the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller, for expanded capabilities on the new MacBook Pro.

For instance, the T2 chip's image signal processor works with the FaceTime HD camera to enable enhanced tone mapping, improved exposure control, and face detection-based auto exposure and auto white balance. On the MacBook Pro, the chip also authenticates and secures Touch ID and Apple Pay.

The T2 chip also features a Secure Enclave coprocessor for secure boot and encrypted storage capabilities.

It's unclear if the iMac Pro will eventually support "Hey Siri" too.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

YouTube launches new tool for finding and removing unauthorized re-uploads

Re-uploading videos on YouTube is a favorite of scammy channels that try to profit from other people’s work. Copyright owners already have a number of ways to protect their content, but today, the service is introducing a new tool that automatically scans every newly uploaded video to check if it’s a re-upload of an existing one or “very similar” to a video that’s already on the site.
It’s worth noting that this new tool, dubbed ‘copyright match,’ won’t work for clips, only full videos. YouTube also notes that it’s important that the creator is the first person to upload the video because the time of the upload is how it shows matches.
When the tool finds a match, the creator can choose what to do. The options here are either doing nothing and feeling flattered that somebody would care about your mediocre cat video, get in touch with the other creator and have a nice chat about what happened, or ask YouTube to remove the offending video (which is probably what most people will opt for).

Now a lot of this sounds like YouTube’s existing Content ID program and while it uses very similar technology underneath, the company stresses that this tool is explicitly meant to recognize unauthorized re-uploads. Content ID, however, is mostly meant for the copyright owners of music and music videos, trailers, and recordings of performances.
Starting next week, the new copyright match tool will roll out to all creators with more than 100,000 subscribers. The company plans to roll it out to a wider base of users over the next few months.